This Little Light of Mine . . .

This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine. As a girl I sang these words, in a children’s’ choir with our fingers pointed to the sky. Our hands circling. We were the light of the world. And we were to let our lights shine brightly, and constantly for all to see. This little […]

Heartbreak and Shipwreck

“What are your worst fears?” Tammy asked me. My first reaction was, well, this is a no-brainer. I’ve lived most of my life with anxiety and dread. I should be able to rattle off my fears like a grocery list. And yet my hands lingered over the keyboard. I hesitated. I realized, I don’t know. […]

Fire and Smoke

I was alone, at my off grid in-process homestead, when I looked up and noticed the haze collecting in the sky. By alone I mean alone with my small posse of dependents—three kids ages 1 and 4 and 6, plus at the time, a puppy. There wasn’t so much smoke that it made me worried, […]

Why I Dreaded My Dream Being Fulfilled

I thought they would be my knightesses in shining armor. A connection had led me to a small female–led company with promises of increasing my non-profit’s capacity. As the founder of a 5-year-old organization, I was relieved to hear that help might be tucked away in the basement of this little home-based business. I unloaded […]

The Missing Pieces

The owners of the vacation home we’d rented clearly liked puzzles. On our first day there, I pulled a used one down from a shelf and started it. On the last night of our stay, a few of us worked late trying to finish it. But we couldn’t. Three pieces were missing, and though my […]

Simon Says . . . Obey Your Parents

Simon says . . . put your hands up in the air. Simon says . . . hop up and down. Now spin in a circle. Wait! I didn’t say Simon Says! It’s a classic childhood game. Kids invent things to do and compete to see who follows the instructions best. But the players get […]

Just Like Riding a Bike

Four years ago a teen-aged boy pointed a gun at me while demanding I give him my money. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon in Oakland, California. I was standing at the flagpole in front of the elementary school where I’d recently been assigned to teach. My husband Chris and I had ridden our bikes […]

Are You Willing to Listen to the Darkness?

I used to have a kind of waking nightmare. It started in college. I’d be alone in the dorm bathroom, my toiletry caddy in hand, going down the aisle of shower stalls, their white plastic curtains like ghosts’ hems, all in a row. All of a sudden, the dread of what lay behind those curtains […]

The Disquiet that Calls You Back to the Fire

My grandmother told me she could see their fires at night, dotting the dark rise of the forested bluff as her family’s wagon passed along the dirt road after the summer church revival. She told me you could hear their music, too, the strings weaving their way down the wooded hill. Music like joy, but different from […]